What is Bujinkan?

Bujinkan is a comprehensive and versatile Japanese martial art system that combines elements from nine traditional schools (or 'ryuha') under the guidance of Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi. With roots dating back over a thousand years, Bujinkan encompasses a wide range of techniques and disciplines, such as unarmed combat, weapon training, grappling, striking, and strategic thinking.

The core philosophy of Bujinkan emphasizes adaptability, fluidity, and the use of an opponent's movements and energy against them. This approach makes it a highly effective and practical form of self-defense, suitable for practitioners of all ages and skill levels.

Bujinkan training not only hones physical skills and abilities but also cultivates mental discipline, focus, and resilience. Students learn to develop a deep connection between mind and body, enabling them to react instinctively and intelligently in various situations.

In addition to its martial arts techniques, Bujinkan also encompasses elements of Japanese culture, history, and spirituality, providing students with a holistic understanding of the art and its origins. By practicing Bujinkan, students embark on a journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and connection to an ancient martial tradition.

  1. Togakure-ryū Ninpō Taijutsu (戸隠流忍法体術): Focusing on stealth and espionage, Togakure-ryū is one of the oldest and most well-known schools of ninjutsu. It emphasizes unconventional warfare, intelligence gathering, and specialized tools, such as the shuriken, shuko (hand claws), and kusari-fundo (weighted chain).

  2. Gyokko-ryū Kosshijutsu (玉虎流骨指術): This school specializes in striking and attacking the opponent's muscles and soft tissues using fingertips and knuckles. Gyokko-ryū techniques involve circular movements, joint locks, and grappling, with an emphasis on agility and evasiveness.

  3. Kuki Shinden Happō Bikenjutsu (九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術): Known for its extensive weapons training, Kuki Shinden emphasizes the use of the sword, spear, and staff, along with various other traditional weapons. It also incorporates unarmed combat and strategy, drawing on the principles of warfare and command.

  4. Koto-ryū Koppōjutsu (虎倒流骨法術): Koto-ryū focuses on targeting an opponent's bones and joints, using powerful strikes and precise techniques to disable and control adversaries. It emphasizes close-range combat, with angular footwork and strong body positioning.

  5. Shinden Fudō-ryū Dakentaijutsu (神伝不動流打拳体術): This school is characterized by its use of natural elements and terrain to the practitioner's advantage. Shinden Fudō-ryū incorporates both striking and grappling techniques, with a focus on remaining grounded and adaptable in various situations.

  6. Takagi Yoshin-ryū Jūtaijutsu (高木揚心流柔体術): Known for its sophisticated grappling and joint manipulation techniques, Takagi Yoshin-ryū emphasizes throws, locks, and ground fighting. The school's teachings prioritize timing, distance, and flow, enabling practitioners to effectively neutralize opponents.

  7. Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu (義鑑流骨法術): Gikan-ryū is unique in its focus on balance disruption and unorthodox techniques, such as striking with the forearms or using the opponent's clothing against them. The school also teaches the use of various weapons, including the sword and staff.

  8. Gyokushin-ryū Ninpō (玉心流忍法): Specializing in intelligence gathering, infiltration, and stealth, Gyokushin-ryū is another school of ninjutsu within the Bujinkan system. It emphasizes adaptability and resourcefulness, training practitioners to think creatively and employ a wide range of tactics.

  9. Kumogakure-ryū Ninpō (雲隠流忍法): The third ninjutsu school within Bujinkan, Kumogakure-ryū, focuses on camouflage, deception, and the use of the natural environment for concealment. It also teaches specialized tools and weapons, such as the kamayari (hooked spear) and the shuko

The 9 Schools of Bujinkan